"Wild Nature and the Power of Film"



Showing Time/Place: March 17, Saturday 2:15pm at the Sun Valley Opera House

Sun Valley, Idaho, February 29, 2012 — Imagine venturing out into a 50 mph sandstorm that swirls over 100 feet high turning the sky yellow, then red, then black, in the middle of the
morning. Now imagine capturing it on film.

This sandstorm is just one of many amazing spectacles chronicled in the National Geographic Channel documentary Great Migrations: Behind the Scenes, which will be screened at the Sun Valley Opera House on Saturday, March 17th. The film is part of a special program, Celebrating Wild Nature and the Power of Film which is sponsored by local nonprofit Wild Gift, and will run in conjunction with the Sun Valley Film Festival.  Great Migrations: Behind the Scenes reveals the labor required to produce the Emmy Award winning documentary series, one of National Geographic's most ambitious endeavors in its 124 year history. 

Great Migrations takes viewers around the world on the arduous journeys that millions of animals undertake to ensure the survival of their species. Shot from land and air, in trees and cliff-blinds, on ice floes and underwater, Great Migrations shares the powerful stories of many of the planet's species, while revealing new scientific discoveries with breathtaking highdefinition clarity.

Three years in the making and shot over all seven continents, the film's team travelled 67,000kilometers. Filmmaker Bob Poole, who will be present at the screening, is featured in the Behind the Scenes special where he experiences what he recalls was “the wildest thing I have ever seen in my life.” And, for Poole, that's saying a lot.

Now a local Sun Valley resident, Poole grew up in East Africa, where his father was the director of the Peace Corps, and later the director of the African Wildlife Foundation. His family spent much of their time with the abundant wildlife that thrived there during the 1960s and 1970s. Poole’s unique upbringing gave him both a lifelong appreciation of the natural world and a highly adventurous spirit.

Over the past 16 years, Poole has travelled the world as a director of photography. He documents science, nature and adventure films for National Geographic Channel and other networks.
Celebrating Wild Nature and the Power of Film will also present the award winning film, The Mono Lake Story. This movie stands witness to the power of film and its ability to spur us to action.

The Mono Lake Story begins in 1941, when the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power began diverting Mono Lake's tributary streams 350 miles south to meet the growing water demands of the city. Deprived of its freshwater sources, the volume of Mono Lake halved, while its salinity doubled. Unable to adapt to these changing conditions within such a short period of time, the ecosystem began to collapse. By 1962, the lake had already dropped almost 25 vertical feet.

If something was not done, this critical high desert lake was certain to become a lifeless chemical sump. Appalled by this prospect, in the late 1970s, Mono Lake Committee founder David Gaines toured tirelessly around California with a carousel of slides and a call to help a dying lake—talking to anyone who would listen. To this day, people tell the tale of how they learned of the plight of Mono Lake and joined in the effort after viewing one of Gaines’ slideshows. Over time, the supporters of Mono Lake updated the show and, in 2011, produced The Mono Lake Story, a high definition, 27-minute documentary film. This past week, the film was awarded the Best Documentary at the 2012 Sedona Film Festival. Bob Poole and Ryan Christensen representing these movies will participate in a lively discussion following the screenings.

“Celebrating Wild Nature and the Power of Film”. A special program sponsored by nonprofit Wild Gift and the Sun Valley Film Festival. The Sun Valley Opera House Saturday, March 17, 2012. The program will begin at 2:15 p.m. Admission is free, although donations are encouraged. All donations will support Wild Gift's mission.

Founded in 2002 in Sun Valley, Wild Gift supports a new generation of leaders committed to creating positive social change that is in balance with the resources and gifts of the natural world. Every year, Wild Gift recruits outstanding social entrepreneurs, ages 21-30. These individuals are given the opportunity to join a growing network of young leaders promoting better world projects around the world. In addition to receiving financial support and mentoring, each new recruit is given the “Wild Gift” - an immersion experience in Idaho’s wilderness that is life changing.
Wild Gift has funded the projects of 32 young men and women worldwide in the areas of education, agriculture, renewable energy, community development and land protection.
“We are thrilled to be part of the first Sun Valley Film Festival. Films that explain the intricacy of the natural world and excite us to action are needed more than ever before,” says Deborah Knapp, Executive Director of Wild Gift. “Great Migrations: Behind the Scenes and The Mono Lake Story are real tributes to the art and power of wild nature filmmaking.”

bob poole in "Great Migrations"